Capitalizing on your Tax Return
At Christianson, we want to ensure our clients are receiving the most from their tax return so we’ve compiled a list of the items you may want to consider toting along to your next visit with your CPA. This list may not entirely represent all of the items you will have to bring as some exclusions/inclusions may need to be considered under unique circumstances.
If you are using a new CPA
Meeting with a new CPA may be intimidating, and often times lead to a little discomfort in the sense that your other CPA already had the information they needed last year to complete your taxes. Fear not, making the switch only requires a couple of extra items:
- Your Social Security number
- Your spouse’s Social Security number (if married)
- Social Security numbers for any dependents
- Previous 3-years tax returns (if you have them)
- **Tip: It’s always wise to hold on to your taxes for several years, to ensure things are not missed or overlooked.
- A voided blank check (if you opt for direct deposit for your return).
To All Tax Appointments
Have you ever wondered “what do I need to bring to my tax appointment”? This is something that (for most of us) we only have to do once a year, so remembering all of the requirements can be a challenge, but we’re here to help. This is an easy to follow list of the items you will need to bring to your tax appointment:
- W-2 Forms from all employers you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) worked for during the past tax year.
- **Tip: Your employer traditionally mails or hand-delivers these to you so keep an eye out for this delivery sometime in January or early February.
- 1099 Forms if you (or your spouse) completed contract work and earned more than $600.
- **Tip: If you work on something on the side, or as an independent contractor, be sure to keep all business-related expenses/receipts in a file to bring to your tax preparer as many/most of these are deductible and can significantly impact your return.
- **Tip: You will receive a 1099 from any company you filled out a W-9 for during that tax year. If you did not receive your 1099 form, be sure to reach out to the company you did work for, to ensure you weren’t missed.
- Form(s) 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C with required health insurance information
- Schedule(s) K-1 (income/loss from partnerships, S-Corporations, etc…)
- Form(S) 1098 (Mortgage interest) and property tax statements
- Closing statements pertaining to real estate transactions
- Investment income information (including: interest income, dividend income, proceeds from the sale of bonds or stocks, and income from foreign investments).
- Income from local and state tax refunds from the prior year.
- Business income (accounting records for any business that you own)
- Unemployment income
- Rental property income
- Social Security benefits
- Any tax notices received from the IRS or other taxing authorities.
Other Tax Credits/Deductions You May Have Records For
There are several things that impact the other various expenses in your life that some people neglect to consider. These include:
- Education costs – you can read about Minnesota Education Tax Updates here, and Minnesota Credit for School Supplies here
- **Tip: Save your receipts!
- Childcare costs
- **Tip: Most daycare facilities provide a YTD statement of expenses paid. If you did not receive one for the calendar year, don’t be afraid to request one!
- **Tip: Consider flexing for childcare costs with your employer if that’s an option!
- Adoption costs
- Charitable contributions/donations
- **Tip: Always request a “slip” or a “receipt” for donations so that you may claim that as a part of your tax return!
- Casualty and theft losses
- Qualified business expenses
- Medical expenses
- **Tip: Once again, similar to Childcare expenses, consider flexing for healthcare expenses with your employer if that’s an option!
- Job and moving expenses
- Vehicle tabs/registration
- **Tip: If it’s hard to remember to file this after you remove your tabs from the form (after renewing at the DMV), stick the paper in your glove box and remember to pull it out at tax time!
- **Tip: If you lose your renewal information, go here to look it up!
Tax time can often times be a scramble and leave you feeling unprepared. Don’t hesitate to contact your CPA if you have questions about what is needed prior to your meeting!
** Please note that not all of these items will be included or relevant for 2018 taxes (next year), so keep an eye out for updates for your 2019 tax appointment!